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rodriguez last west virginia for michigan. [applause] the love motorcycles and a practice random acts of kindness. they had their given names, but as we learned today they answer to others. some had been mining for decades. some for months. one was planning a wedding one was planning for retirement. as individuals, these men were strong proud they were providers. they represent what i think is the heart and soul and spine of this nation. and ladies and gentlemen, a nation mourns them. to every member of every family that has been touched by this tragedy i can say that i know what it is like to lose a spouse and child, and i also know when the tributes are done and the flags are once again flying at full staff, once the miners you see today go back to work, that is when it will be hardest for you all. when life has moved on around us and has yet to stir within you, that is when you're going to need one another for the lucky ones, like its to go one but as a community and a nation we would compound tragedy if we let the whites go one unchanged. certainly no one should have to sacrifice
and then briefly take your questions. >> first congressional district of virginia. >> america's first district. senator carper, you are with us. it was an honor. what a great group. senator ensign, senator brown. we had great folks and a great chemistry. it was a great compliment. i want to give accolades to the staff who did a wonderful job in putting this together and making sure that we were able to access those decision makers that are critical in what is going on in that region. in addition, i want to pull all out that -- i want to point out what i came away with from the trip. there was high morale on the civilian and military side. when we sat down to talk with them, whether at lunch or in formal settings, to a person, they were extraordinarily positive about what was going on over there and their mission, as well as what they have accomplished. i took away from that a positive feeling about our efforts over there. we asked some detailed questions about what they were doing and how they felt. as i said, on the civilian side, we talked to folks from up and down the variety of agencies. t
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